Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, July 3, 2019

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State officials say wildfire ignited near Talkeetna and Parks Highway, warn of possible evacuations and delays

Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

State officials say a wildfire has ignited near Talkeetna and the Parks Highway, in an area east of Montana Creek Road. Alaska State Troopers are warning of possible evacuations, delays for motorists and emergency vehicles on the highway.

Anchorage wildfire forces rapid response to contain

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A fast-moving wildland fire erupted in east Anchorage yesterday [7/2] afternoon. What officials are calling the MLK Fire — so named because it was first spotted near Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Avenue — was first reported around 4:30 pm. Flames got to about a half-mile from some homes, but ultimately were contained within the greenbelt. There were no reports of lost life or property.

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor declares disaster emergency due to Shovel Creek wildfire

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward has declared a disaster emergency due to the 10 thousand acre Shovel Creek wildfire threatening neighborhoods in the Murphy Dome and Chatanika River areas.

Cleanup crew recover diesel spilled after double-tanker wreck on Richardson Highway

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Cleanup crews have recovered about a third of the 5-thousand gallons of diesel that spilled Tuesday afternoon when a double-tanker truck wrecked on the Richardson Highway near Copper Center.

Hundreds protest Governor’s budget vetoes outside Anchorage legislative office

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Anchorage Legislative Information Office to protest Governor Mike Dunleavy’s recent budget vetoes. At the rally, local politicians and community advocates led the large crowd in chants and urged them to demand lawmakers overturn the governor’s vetoes.

Yukon River summer chum salmon run rebounds from weak start

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Yukon River summer chum salmon run has rebounded from a late and weak start. Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Holly Carroll says a sonar count on the lower river has surpassed a minimum escapement goal, and the return is looking much stronger.

St. Paul’s rogue rat is dead after 10 months of evading traps and causing ecosystem concerns

Laura Kraegel, KUCB – Unalaska

St. Paul Island’s rogue rat has met its demise — after 10 months of evading capture and living large at the local fish plant. The rat was found dead last weekend.

DOT’s Chiniak Highway Erosion Control Project fights a never-ending battle against coastal erosion

Kavitha George, KMXT – Kodiak

Erosion is an ever-present issue for coastal highways. It’s of particular concern for Kodiak, where a large portion of the major road system sits right alongside the ocean. The state is working to slow the inevitable along the Chiniak Highway.

Sitkans protest conditions in detention centers from afar

Nina Sparling, KCAW – Sitka

The border crisis maybe thousands of miles away, but that hasn’t stopped Sitkans from expressing their disapproval for current immigration policy. A group of about two dozen Sitkans gathered to protest family separation and the detention of migrant children during the lunch hour Tuesday, as part of a national day of action.

Study on salmon ear stones cited by EPA in Pebble draft EIS comments

Alex Hager, KDLG – Dillingham

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its formal comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Pebble Mine. One study it cites centers on salmon habitat — and what stones in fish ears can tell us.

Mount Marathon Race officials offer deferral due to wildfires smoke

Amy Mostafa, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Every year on the 4th of July, mountain runners from Alaska and across the world gather to run in Seward’s Mount Marathon Race. Normally, runners can defer only under very special circumstances, but this year marathon officials are granting all runners an option to defer their registration to 2020 due to the wild fire smoke expected to remain in the area.

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